I would like to preface this post by saying that me and my team have been encouarged by our progress with Voxel Farm so far, and we are very appreciate of the support that we've received so far.  But, I have a few questions regarding available features in the Voxel Farm plugin for Unreal Engine (some of these may apply to Voxel Studio).

1.) I was reading in this forum where someone had asked about client/server mulitplayer support for the plugin.  The response that he was given was quite interesting:
We currently provide examples on how this can be done over TCP/IP, but it is not included in the UE4 integration. It is definitively one of the top items in our to-do. Replicating live changes is just one aspect, we are also working on a server-side persistence system using the amazon cloud. This would allow the game developers to plug their game into this service and all changes made by players would be persisted. 
  In particular, the items of interest are replicating changes from server to client, and synchronizing changes across server instances (which is very important for our game).  What is the ETA of this?

2.) We are able to successfully export terrain content from Voxel Studio to UE with relative ease.  One question that my team has had concerns a consistent starting area for new players.  Is it possible to have a consistent starting area for new players using Voxel Farm?  How would we go about this?

3.) One aspect of Voxel Farm that my team is especially interested in is the ability for players to both add and remove voxels at runtime.  Is it possible to genereate different layers of material at different depths (i.e veins of ore, different kinds of stone or orgainic material, etc.) to encourage player digging?  Also, is it possible to not only generate natural caves (possibly underwater, or in other interesting locations), but also allow players to dig their own caverns/passages?  How would be go about this? I remember seeing this elsewhere in the forum, but I thought that I would ask.

4.) If our terrain has Voxel Instances of things like trees, rocks, etc., can these be removed as well by the player (i.e. to harvest wood, and the like)?

5.) One aspect of our game involves player building.  Could pre-fabs be used in this case (i.e. a wall segment, a pillar, small building/tower, etc.)?  Are they destructible as well?  If so, can the removal of voxels from pre-fabs be configured at runtime?  In other words, pre-fab voxels couldn't be removed except at a certain time or by certain equipment, and the like.

6.) Finally, one concern that my team has had is limiting how far that a player can go in the world.  Orignally, we were thinking about a series of tiled islands (is this possible?).  What would be the best way to go about this?

I apologize in advance for the large number of questions.  I'm just trying to collect my team's discussions into a single thread so that we can tackle them.  I understand that some things are better done in the plugin with UE, and others are better done in Voxel Studio.  Please denote that where applicable.

0 0
1) This remains a top priority, but we do not have an ETA at the moment. We have conducted successful tests with vanilla UE4 multiplayer on top of Voxel Farm content using the plugin. We still need to look at providing at least one method of voxel change replication.

2) With the new plugin, it is possible to anchor the Voxel Farm world to a specific set of coordinates in UE4. Once you have this, you can set up start/spawn points in your UE4 level as usual.

3) The Voxel Farm framework will allow you to have multiple content layers mixed together in real time, this could include terrain, ore veins, caves, etc. Some of these layers, like terrain, are generic enough for us to be able to offer out of the box components. Some other content layers, like ore veins, may be too application specific (that is, every game will want a different logic for resource placement) so we have not included a default component for this. Any custom layer is something you will have to code by providing a new IVoxelLayer implementation. We can provide assistance on how to do so. We are currently designing generic components for caves and ore veins, but we are at the requirement gathering phase. In this sense your input is greatly appreciated, in particular how would you like to define caves and resources for your game?

4) Voxel Instances become part of the world, they are made of materials just like the terrain and other voxel layers. For instance if you have a rock instance, a player will be able to carve it using a pickaxe. Note that trees in most Voxel Farm scenes are not represented using Voxel Instances, but Mesh Instances.

5) Prefabs are destructible once they are voxelized. The Prefab/LSystem components are not exposed to UE4 via blueprints yet. You can access these from the C++ code. We can provide pointers once you get there.

6) You can control how far a player goes into the world by limiting its movement range in the UE4 logic for the character. Is your question more about providing content for the player?
0 0
Thank you for your responses.  I conferred with my team, and their comments/questions are below (pertaining to the numbered items).

1) Support for online multiplayer, including client-server replication and synchronization across servers, is paramount.  Would it be possible to keep me informed on this, possibly providing a beta when available?

2) In addition to generating spawn points around the anchor coordinates for the World Actor, would it be possible to generate procedural terrain around static content?  In other words, if my team creates a static area in a level (such as a small town/clearing), would it be possible to generate procedural terrain around that with the World Actor?  Obviously, the boundaries would have to be (at least somewhat) smooth.

3) If rules for caves and material deposits could be defined in Voxel Studio (in a manner that is similar to a suggestion post in this forum), that would be ideal.  That way, they could be generated with the terrain in the engine.  Most of the configuration could be done in Voxel Studio, though some things could be exposed to blueprints, I'd imagine.

4) I thought that that was how that worked.  How can we differentiate what kind of voxel was removed?  I remember seeing something about this in the documentation

5) I figured as much.  Will these be exposed to blueprints in the future?  Also, is it possible to destroy a large amount of voxels at once (i.e an explosion, or a large boulder, etc.)?

6) We were just wondering what a good method for limiting how far a player could go would be.  What we do not want to allow is for a player (by whatever means) to simply go forward indefinitely so that other players can't interact with them (or cause performance, storage issues for both client and server).

0 0